Earthquakes and People's Health
Vulnerability Reduction, Preparedness and Rehabilitation (WHO/WCK/SYM/97.1)
Document produced by the WHO Centre for Development, Kobe, Japan
World Health Organization
Order Number    19300115 Format    Package
Price    CHF    34.00 / US$    40.80 Developing countries:    CHF    23.80
English     1997        295   pages
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Summary
Reports the proceedings of an international symposium where experts in medicine, public health, engineering, and economics convened to exchange experiences about the management of severe earthquakes in urban areas. Experiences during all major recent earthquakes - from Kobe, Japan to Northridge, California - are presented and discussed in terms of lessons that can help reduce the immediate and long-term impact on health and prepare services to cope with future events.
Papers are presented in five parts. The first identifies key issues in the management of earthquakes, including factors that increase the risk of casualties and injuries, the value of seismological forecasting, and the impact of earthquakes on physical and mental health. Papers in part two present data documenting the immediate and long-term health effects of recent earthquakes, including information on the most common injuries and causes of death. The third and most extensive part, on vulnerability reduction and preparedness, discusses the forecasting of seismic hazards, the use of urban earthquake masterplans, regulations for earthquake-resistant construction, methods of protecting hospitals, and the organization and logistics of emergency preparedness. Topics discussed range from the reasons why earthquakes continue to be so destructive despite advances in construction engineering, through the need for disaster management manuals in hospitals, to the importance of providing vulnerable communities with training in first-aid. The remaining parts describe experiences in the rehabilitation of cities and summarize national approaches to disaster management.